I used to read Seventeen Magazine before I was even seventeen, wondering what life would be like at 17. I’d save magazine clippings of my favorite outfits and looks I one day wanted to try. I even still have some of those clippings and the magazines that featured my favorite people at the time.
And then I stopped reading it because Atoosa Rubenstein retired as the editor-in-chief during 2007, one of the hardest years of my entire life. I remember emailing her asking her to say and only receiving a “sorry, but I have to go” in response. I thought of her as my best friend, and I loved her style and how she kept the magazine.
And it wasn’t the same after she left because Seventeen became a magazine that featured boys after Ann Shoket took place. I remember being so furious because of it. This magazine that featured girls of all shapes and sizes that was also so empowering to me was now bringing guys into the mix — something I despised. It was quickly losing everything that it once stood for. And this new editor never replied back to my emails like the previous one did. And I wasn’t the only one she let down; I remember reading online about how Seventeen had changed too much in the forums and how guys didn’t deserve to be on the cover. Someone had then suggested CosmoGirl. I was a “CosmoGirl” until it stopped production in 2008 — when I picked up Teen Vogue.
I found those saved magazines a few days ago and couldn’t help thinking about this — how I’d gotten into them, how so many people looked forward to my subscription coming in before they hit the shelves so they could read the latest edition, how my friends and I really took their advice seriously, how we’d laugh at the funnies (what we called the embarrassing moments column), etc. They reminded me of a time when, in the midst of all the crap lard and my mother was doing in general and to me, I had something to look forward to: my best friend’s magazine that guided me through middle school. I treated it like the mother I never had, and she was the hot topic among all my friends.